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Studio Grill

July 5, 2017

  • 312 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 341-4100
  • Website
  • Menu

There are days where everything you do just doesn’t work out.  That was my issue last Friday.  My colleague was off, so I was in the office by myself.  Every task I was attempting to complete was failing and my day was going by pretty slow.

Around lunch time, J asked if I wanted to meet her to grab something to eat.  At first, I assumed she meant Lunchtime Live, but she actually wanted to go sit down at a restaurant somewhere.

I love working downtown now and having options, but I also needed something fairly quick.  My day could pivot at any moment and I could go from throwing playing cards into a hat to extremely busy in a matter of seconds.

I asked if she wanted to meet me at the Studio Grill on West Main Street.  We last ate there in 2010 despite the fact any time the best burger in Kalamazoo is brought up, Studio Grill is mentioned.

Studio Grill is on West Michigan Avenue just past the Park Street intersection.  The building is part of several older buildings built all connected to each other.  Before becoming Studio Grill, the building served as home to a place called the Copy Cup.  

The dining is a pretty good size for a downtown diner and it was packed at lunchtime on a Friday.  J and I walked into the room and saw an open table in the front part of the space so we sat down.  A waitress was just finishing up taking the orders for a table next to us.  She dropped off the menus from that table on her way to put in their order.

The dining room has sort of an odd setup due to a big lunch counter in the middle of the space.  There are two distinct dining spaces.  One in front and one it back.  There’s also a row a tables along the wall running between the two dining areas and parallel to the lunch counter.  The atmosphere is a little darker than a typical diner.  The only windows are in the front and the hardwood floors and dark red on the walls below the chair rail tone down the mood.  Local art is spotlighted on the walls throughout in stark contrast to the cheap red and white checkered plastic table clothes that cover the tables.

The first time we at ate Studio Grill we did so on a recommendation for their stuffed burgers.  They were also a part of Mlive’s Kalamazoo Stop for Michigan’s Best Burger in 2013.

Stuffed burgers don’t always do much for me.  If they’re cooked right, they’re delicious, but they’re so hard to cook right.  If they’re overcooked, the filling gets lost and overcooking is easy to do on such a thick burger.

With that said, I ordered the Kirby Burger.  This burger is stuffed with bleu cheese then it is topped with bleu cheese, a Serrano sauce, bacon and a fried egg.  This was the best way to get a stuffed burger, but still make sure it was packing some delicious toppings.  The burger was actually cooked pretty perfectly.  It was fall apart tender and very juicy with a pretty strong salt and pepper flavor throughout.  There was so much bleu cheese between being in and on the burger, but the fried egg held everything down.  The Serrano sauce was subtle but added to the peppery taste of the meat.  The sandwich came with some battered fries that were super crispy.  The waitress was trying to push some tater to special, but tots aren’t my thing and the fries were pretty tasty.

J had surprsingly ordered a burger last time we ate at Studio Grill, but this time opted for Ryan’s Grilled Cheese.  It always amazes me how restaurants can take something as simple as a grilled cheese and make it delicious every time.  J added bacon to her sandwich.  That bacon was super crispy….just the way J likes it.  Her sandwich also came with fries which she also took over the tots that were being pushed to her as well.

The bill for our meal was just under $20 with the addition of two Cokes.  Seven years between visits to the Studio Grill is too long.  The popularity of the place took me a little bit by surprise, but it really shouldn’t have.  They have a solid line up of delicious sandwiches.  It’s one of the few places downtown to get a quick, delicious lunch that won’t break the bank.

Studio Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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